Updated: Jan 16, 2020
Eczema is the most common anti-inflammatory skin disease. Common symptoms include inflamed, red, painful, itching, and peeling skin. It can be acute (short-lived) or chronic (experienced frequently).
There are many causes for this skin condition, they primarily include:
allergy (e.g., gluten)
sensitivities to sugar or dairy
sensitivities to fragrance, soaps, laundry detergent etc.
skin products (soap, creams, preservatives, synthetic chemicals)
damaged barrier function from chemical peels or harsh skin products
In order to find out what might be the cause of your eczema, it will take some investigating. to rule out any allergies to foods, try a food diary and make note of your symptoms. Try removing certain types of food (e.g. dairy) for a period of time to see if the condition improves. The same can be done for any external products. Think back to when the symptoms first started, were you under significant amounts of stress? If all those can be ruled out then the root cause may be hereditary or related to auto-immune disorder. The later are the most common causes of the condition.
The best way to manage the condition it to firstly remove any triggers. Then focus on restoring the skin's barrier function and microbiome by increasing intake of healthy fats (fish, oils) and probiotics (yogurt, kefir). Topically, use products that contain oils rich in ceramides such as Sunflower Oil as well as calming and healing ingredients (lavender, chamomile, calendula) as well as those that encourage healthy skin cell turnover (rosehip seed oil). Borage Oil has significant benefits in helping manage eczema although can be hard to find in products. Be sure to be gentle with the affected area, avoid hot showers and make sure the area is kept clean, dry and moisturized. All of these options are well documented to help manage and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with eczema.
Eczema is a very uncomfortable condition that can be difficult to manage, knowing what might be causing it and implementing healthy management options can go a long way. Unfortunately there is no cure for this pesky condition!